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Rodgers' Reds: Class is Permanent

The journey of Brendan Rodgers as he aims to bring Liverpool back to where they belong.
Started on 14 January 2015 by Glenn T
Latest Reply on 28 October 2015 by Maximus
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Glenn T's avatar Group Glenn T
6 yearsEdited

New Backups



Liverpool have announced the signing of not one but two goalkeepers, with free agent Artur Boruc joining on a free transfer, and Jason Steele coming in from Middlesbrough for a fee of £550k.

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers was visibly pleased with his first signings of the transfer window when he spoke with journalists.

"Jason and Artur are both very competent goalkeepers," said the recently-awarded Premier League Manager of the Year. "They come with great past records and I'll be looking forward to seeing what they can do to help the team."

Steele and Boruc will replace last season's second-choice goalkeeper, Brad Jones, who has moved to the Major League Soccer to play for recently established New York City FC.


Jason Steele in action for Middlesbrough

A product of the Middlesbrough youth academy, Steele managed to break into the first team in 2010 and put in a series of impressive performances, maintaining his place for three years. Despite winning the Fans' Player of the Season award at Middlesbrough, he was eventually relegated to third-choice and shipped out on loan to Blackburn last year.

His loan spell at Blackburn was largely unsuccessful, with fans of the club calling for Steele to be dropped to the bench on more than one occasion. However, Rovers managed to avoid relegation to League One just narrowly, finishing the Championship in 20th place.

Of course, Steele will be hoping that his time at Liverpool goes a bit smoother. He signs a three-year contract with wages of around £20k per week, taking on the number 13 jersey.

Jason Steele
Age: 25
Squad Number: 13
Position: Goalkeeper





Boruc, on the other hand, has quite a bit of Premier League experience, but is much older, being at the age of 35. He has played for clubs like Celtic and Fiorentina, while also recently in the Premier League with Southampton.

The veteran impressed for the Saints last season in the games he played in, filling in for Fraser Forster who struggled with injury, and all in all conceded 20 goals in 16 appearances.

Declining a contract extension to stay at St. Mary's, Boruc was released upon the expiry of his contract and now seeks a new challenge at Liverpool. The Polish international signs a two-year contract that will keep him at Anfield until 2017, worth £28k per week.

Artur Boruc
Age: 35
Squad Number: 1
Position: Goalkeeper





With two new goalkeepers, current first-team keeper Simon Mignolet will be forced to be on his toes. The 27-year-old had an outstanding year with Liverpool as he helped them to the title and clinched the Golden Glove award, but will now know that he cannot afford to be complacent if he wants to keep his place in the lineup.

Selling Spree



The Anfield door remains wide open, as it can be seen from the latest three departures out of the club, adding on to a growing list as Brendan Rodgers looks to continue stamping his authority on the club.

First up is Lucas Leiva, with the Brazilian putting an end to his 8 years with Liverpool, making 187 Premier League appearances in total. Lucas' loyalty and dedication to his game earned him a place in the hearts of the fans, but could not find a way into the first team last season, making only 25 appearances in all competitions.

The 28-year-old will now link up with Sevilla in Spain, the La Liga club paying a fee in the region of £5 million for the defensive midfielder.

Perhaps the most surprising departure, however, is young midfielder Suso, who has shown promise since his slow but sure introduction into the team. Greatly impressing on loan at Beşiktaş last season, many expected him to play a big part in Rodgers' plans, but it is not to be, as he will leave to join Napoli for £13 million.


Suso has left to join Napoli in the Serie A

Signed from his boyhood club Cádiz CF in 2010, Suso went on to Liverpool's youth team and was tipped to have a bright future at the club, and made 14 appearances in the Premier League under Rodgers back in the 2012/13 season.

But on the back of a successful season in Turkey, he will now continue his development in Italy.

Emre Can is the latest departure confirmed by the Merseyside club today, joining Galatasaray on loan until the end of the season.

He has not managed to turn heads since his arrival at Liverpool and found himself unable to make any sort of break into the first team in their title-winning campaign, being pushed further down the pecking order after the signing of Lucas Romero in January.


Can could not break into the first team at Liverpool

The current holders of the Süper Lig, Galatasaray will be a good experience for Can, giving him the opportunity to play in a completely different league, with influential players like Wesley Sneijder.

Liverpool are expected to get more deadwood off their hands in the coming weeks.
Nice, 18 million on two players who I like a lot :P.
1
Jeremy: Who knows what Brendan Rodgers is doing?
Just read through the story and it looks amazing so far Glenn! Keep up the solid work!
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Recruitment Drive



Liverpool today announced their latest signings, picking up James Ward-Prowse from Southampton for £23 million, and Samuel Umtiti from Lyon for £15 million.

This instantly takes the club's expenditure in the transfer window to a baulking £39 million.

However, the fee will be more than repaid if their time at Anfield goes well, both players being only at the age of 21 & 22 respectively, while at the same time bursting with talent.

The two signings were confirmed hours ago by Liverpool chiefs, with Brendan Rodgers scrambling to get the players he wants ahead of the club's pre-season fixtures.

Ward-Prowse and Umtiti have experienced generous first-team football at their previous clubs and are expected to go right into the first team for the 2015/16 season.


James Ward-Prowse in action for England Under-21s


Samuel Umtiti was a starter at Lyon and helped the club to a 3rd place finish in Ligue 1

"We might have overpaid a little," admitted Liverpool manager Rodgers. "But I'm happy with what we've gotten here at the club. The two of them are great young players and can be a real boost to our squad.

"James is young, he's English, and he's got talent. We watched him at Southampton last season and I think he did well. Of course he won't be starting too many games for now but I can see him being an important part of Liverpool's future.

"That is the same for Samuel. He's performed brilliantly in France and I know he's very excited about playing in a different league, a different environment.

"They are at a tender age but I think they can contribute to Liverpool at the current moment, definitely."

James Ward-Prowse
Age: 21
Squad Number: 16
Position: Central Midfielder

/



Samuel Umtiti
Age: 22
Squad Number: 23
Position: Central Defender

/



Ward-Prowse also gave an interview to LFCTV to talk about his new club.

"Liverpool are such a huge club with glory in their past and present. Now I want to help work towards their future.

"Winning the Premier League last season, especially by such a huge margin, was crazy and I really liked how this Liverpool team played. I'm honoured and flattered to have this opportunity to be part of that.

"It was hard for me to leave Southampton, especially after getting into the senior team, and I want to thank all the managers I've played under, the fans, and of course the teammates I've played with."

Ward-Prowse signs a four-year contract that will keep him with the Reds until 2019 on £40k a week, while Umtiti will be earning slightly more on £45k a week, on a five-year contract.

Pre-Season 2015

Liverpool had a flawless pre-season as they crushed foreign sides from the Czech Republic, Austria and Argentina. Additionally, Rodgers' men went on tour to Singapore to meet their Southeast Asian fans, playing against local sides Eunos Crescent, Home United, and Tampines Rovers.




Friendlies

Liverpool 3 - 1 Sparta Praha
Markovic
Balotelli
Moreno


Liverpool 2 - 1 Salzburg
Markovic
Sturridge


Liverpool 3 - 0 Genk
Sturridge
Balotelli
Henderson


Boca 1 - 4 Liverpool
Ward-Prowse
Sturridge
Gerrard
Romero


Eunos 0 - 8 Liverpool
Balotelli
Moreno
Balotelli
Balotelli
Balotelli
Henderson
Sturridge
Sturridge


Home Utd 1 - 8 Liverpool
Sterling
Sturridge
Balotelli
Sturridge
Sturridge
Markovic
Sinclair


Tampines 0 - 2 Liverpool
Lallana
Lallana

Player of Pre-Season


A delightful record of 8 goals in 7 pre-season games makes Daniel Sturridge the top performer in pre-season. He looked splendid in every match he played and is raring to go for the club's defence of the Premier League title.

Manager's Thoughts

Pre-season went perfectly but we went up against sides of relatively low quality compared to our usual Premier League opponents, so we can't expect to have the same kind of scores in our normal fixtures, for example winning by an eight-goal margin. Still, I'm delighted that we've won most of our games with ease and the new signings look like they're gelling in as well. The season ahead is going to be great.
Feliks: Thanks for the kind words Feliks :)
I caught up with the recent updates and I have to admit I love your writing, it is lovely and truly inspirational to write a story of my own. Fantastic job!
1

Liverpool's Second Garcia



Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Levante's Ruben Garcia for a fee of £8.5 million, with the Spaniard set to link up with the Premier League winners immediately after their return from Singapore.

Naturally, he has already been compared to Luis Garcia, who enjoyed a successful spell with Liverpool between 2004 and 2007. The two share the same nationality, last name, and above all else, can play in the same positions.

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers will welcome the addition of Garcia, whose style of play fits perfectly with the 42-year-old's emphasis on passing and possession football.

The 22-year-old broke into the Levante side from the youth team in 2012 and has not looked back since. He performed exceptionally in La Liga last season, appearing in 35 of Levante's league games and scoring 7, with his release clause of £8.5 million also alerting several clubs in England. However, it is Liverpool who have moved first to secure Garcia's signature.


Ruben Garcia broke into the Levante first team in 2012 and has not looked back since

His contributions also won him Levante's Fans' Player of the Year for 2014/15, as he helped Les Granotes to a respectable 9th-placed finish.

The winger has been an instrumental part within Levante, a club he joined from Valencia in 2010, since his emergence, but will now pursue further glory in England and the Barclays Premier League, putting pen to paper on a five-year contract worth £28k a week.

Garcia, who will wear number 11 for Liverpool, could make his debut in the club's Community Shield fixture against Manchester United.

Ruben Garcia
Age: 22
Squad Number: 11
Position: Left Winger

/



Speaking to Spanish media before leaving the country, Garcia revealed that he was looking forward to the chance of playing in the Premier League.

"La Liga is a close second but the Premier League in England is arguably the best league in the world, both to watch and to play in," he said. "Playing there has always been one of my dreams for my career, and to play for a club like Liverpool is fantastic as well.

"They won the title last season and it's an exciting time for me because I feel that my arrival at the club can make them stronger than they were before."

On the topic of Levante, Garcia said, "Levante is a club that I will miss. I've enjoyed my football here since 2010 when I signed, and for the manager to give me the first team chances that he did, it was great. I'm proud to say that I feel I've repaid the faith shown to me by this club.

"The five years I've spent here have been extremely memorable, and I want to come back sometime, definitely."

Garcia is the fifth addition to a growing list of Liverpool summer signings, and will be competing with players like Raheem Sterling for a place in the starting lineup.
Ruben Garcia, he drinks Sangria...
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Oz96: Awesome to hear. Thank you, I really appreciate words like that.

Justice: He came from Levante, to bring us joy...
Pre-season very positive, you look all set for a successful season! Some fantastic young signings coming through too! I hope you can get the best out of each one, especially Umtiti. Sad to see Can go though, truly!
1

Match Report: Community Shield



It was the same old story at Wembley Stadium once again as Liverpool literally ran over Manchester United with their football, ending the game with 62% possession compared to United's 38%. However, the Red Devils eventually lifted the Community Shield, winning 7-6 on penalty shootouts.

Louis van Gaal made a gamble that paid off, as he chose to start largely untested Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in goal. The 18-year-old Serb signed for United last season from FK Vojvodina, but stayed there for an additional season as part of a loan agreement, and has not appeared in a single domestic English game.

However, Milinkovic-Savic repelled Liverpool's efforts brilliantly, who had 24 shots at goal. United had 7.

Liverpool have spent much of their summer so far exchanging players in and out of the club but there were no debutants, with Jason Steele, James Ward-Prowse, and Ruben Garcia being left unused on the bench. United, on the other hand, started their latest signing in midfield. Kevin Strootman's performance in midfield was nothing to shout about, but the £32 million pound signing from Roma looked generally solid in his first domestic fixture.

Brendan Rodgers will certainly hope that the result doesn't signify how the season ahead is going to be, as his side were wasteful with their chances, with Daniel Sturridge, despite having a great pre-season, being largely ineffective.



Starting 11: Milinkovic-Savic; Rafael, Evans, Rojo, Shaw; Januzaj, Strootman, Blind; Mata; Rooney, van Persie
Used Subs: Fellaini (Strootman, 61 min), Herrera (Mata, 66 min), Vertonghen (Rojo, 80 min), Di Maria (Blind, 86 min), Hernandez (Rooney, 86 min), Jones (Evans, 90 min)
Unused Subs: de Gea



Starting 11: Mignolet; Clyne, Sakho, Skrtel, Moreno; Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling; Lallana, Coutinho, Sturrige
Used Subs: Balanta (Sakho, 67 min), Balotelli (Sturridge, 67 min)
Unused Subs: Steele, Manquillo, Romero, Ward-Prowse, Garcia

The first chance of the game came as early as the third minute, as Rafael fed Robin van Persie with a brilliant cross, but the ball was struck right into the hands of the expecting Simon Mignolet.

The game grew quiet as Liverpool soon started to wrestle possession away from their north-western rivals. However, a resilient Manchester United defence kept their opponents quiet.

Liverpool soon managed to get themselves into a good position, as Steven Gerrard played a pinpoint pass for Raheem Sterling, but the youngster was easily outmuscled by opposing defenders. United fought back hard, and Wayne Rooney tested Mignolet on one occasion, his crack at a goal getting punched away.

The Reds' closest attempt came in the form of Daniel Sturridge. Liverpool's smooth passing play saw Adam Lallana knocking it forward for his English compatriot to unleash his strike. A save seemed impossible, with Sturridge just a meter away from the United goal.

But the young Vanja Milinkovic-Savic did just that, as he swiftly threw himself onto the ground and blocked the effort, to the frustration of Liverpool's players.


Vanja Milinkovic-Savic was easily Manchester United's best player on the pitch

Not long after, he denied Sturridge once again, who had latched onto a fantastic through pass from Philippe Coutinho.

When the first half came to an end and the second half commenced, neither side had found a way through. United found themselves unable to contest Liverpool's defensive line, who were brilliantly protected by Steven Gerrard. At the same time, Milinkovic-Savic was giving Liverpool all sorts of problems.

This was extremely obvious, as just a minute after the beginning of the second half, Coutinho managed to get a strike in, only for the ball to be palmed away once again by the young Serb.


Liverpool were unable to get anything past the youngster between the sticks for United

Liverpool continued to be on the offensive, with Coutinho remaining in the thick of the action. The Brazilian lobbed the ball up towards his side's lone forward. Breaking the offside trap, Sturridge dashed forward, going on a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but it wasn't Milinkovic-Savic this time, as the former Chelsea man fluffed his lines, blowing the ball completely off target.

He had the chance to redeem himself, as Lallana crossed a great ball for him. This time, though, Milinkovic-Savic returned to action, thwarting any chances of a goal as he pushed the ball away with relative ease.

United's big break finally came in the 70th minute, with the referee pointing to the spot after Jordan Henderson clipped Ander Herrera inside the penalty box as he went to meet a corner. No doubt a harsh decision, but Mignolet came to his team's rescue as he kept out Robin van Persie's penalty.

This would be for naught, unfortunately, as Jan Vertonghen later struck the winning penalty for United in a shootout that ended 7-6.


Manchester United lift the Community Shield following their penalty shootout victory

The Community Shield is mostly regarded as simply a curtain raiser for the coming season, but to Rodgers and Liverpool, it will be seen as a trophy they could not obtain.

While Liverpool look toward the Premier League and start their defence of the title, United will have a case to look at with Milinkovic-Savic, who has more than proven himself this game and given van Gaal food for thought.

August 2015

Liverpool kicked off their Premier League season with three wins in three games, a very positive start for Brendan Rodgers' men. Despite losing the Community Shield to Manchester United, they have bounced back quickly to keep their first month of the season free of a league defeat.




Premier League

Liverpool 4 - 1 Southampton
Sturridge
Gerrrard
Sturridge
Balotelli


Watford 0 - 3 Liverpool
Sturridge
Henderson
Sturridge


Liverpool 3 - 1 Man City
Coutinho
Gerrard
Skrtel


Community Shield

Man Utd 0 - 0 Liverpool (7-6 pen.)

Liverpool August Player of the Month



The award goes to none other than Steven Gerrard, with the captain leading his side to nine points in three games with his brilliance on the pitch. Has been consistent with his play since the beginning of the month and Liverpool will hope his form continues.

Manager's Thoughts

Three wins in three games is always a good start. Of course the Community Shield was something I would have liked to win but what's done is done. Getting a win against a top side like Manchester City is great as well, and if we can keep this up getting a second title in a row isn't going to be a problem at all.

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